Former West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller’s Rock Creek Park mansion is one of Washington, D.C.’s most luxurious residences. The 1920s-era house sits atop a leafy 16-acre estate known as “The Rocks” and has two mailing addresses. The main gate is on Shepherd Street in Crestwood and a second winding driveway cuts across national parkland to connect with Park Road.
The public got a rare look inside the palatial estate in 2008 when Rockefeller hosted a fundraiser for the Obama campaign. A New York Times reporter was in attendance and described what he saw:
“Our night began at The Rocks, Jay Rockefeller’s chateau away from chateau deep in the hills of Rock Creek Park. To reach the site of this particular Obama fundraiser, you wind along the edges of Rock Creek Park and then turn up a steep, long, hey mistah Rockefeller, how about $3000 to shovel your driveway sort of entryway. … There are oaks and Chestnut trees and then there’s the house, with four Ionic columns and a slate roof and 17 windows across the front and the Rockefellers apparently suffer no critical shortage of guest bedrooms. It is a useful reminder that before the Gates and Bloomberg and Warren B., there was old man John D. Rockefeller, who bequeathed successive generations of descendants a truly astonishing boodle of money.”
Rockefeller bought the 21,000-square-foot house for $6.5 million in cash when he was elected to the Senate. Remodeling and the addition of a tennis court, detached pool house, and two four-car garages raised the current value to an estimated $18 million.
The Rocks dates back to 1927, when Daisy Blodgett built it as a wedding present for her daughter Mona, and the name apparently was a reference to the nearby Rock Creek Park. It stayed in the family until the appropriately named Rockefeller bought it in 1984/5.
Washington used to have numerous private estates like The Rocks, but the majority are now open to the public as museums, art galleries and schools. Hopefully Jay Rockefeller will consider opening up The Rocks to the public if he ever moves back to West Virginia.
Know Before You Go
Note that the Rockefeller Mansion is a private estate and not open to the public.